University Of The Future: Is UCT Building A New University?


Shifts in technology have made it necessary for universities to start planning for the future. Among these universities hoping to spearhead change, is the University of Cape Town, which has begun the launch of its University of The Future Project. 



Built in 1829, The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university. Since its establishment, the university has gone through many changes and has even become the top ranked university in Africa. 

Now, UCT is planning to upgrade its campuses and improve its university culture. This will be done through the University of the Future Project, which will be carried out in a number of phases. 

Phase 1 of the project launched on 31 May 2023, while phase 2 will launch in November 2023 and run until May 2024. 

What Does The University Of The Future Project Aim To Achieve?

UCT is aiming to achieve a number of goals through the launch of this project. Among these goals, is to create a modern campus that will attract new staff and students, as well as local businesses. 

The project also aims to create enhanced formal learning and social spaces, well-planned for food outlets, as well as shared spaces for improved community engagement, as UCT works toward the goals of Vision 2030 and beyond

The need for this project was particularly highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, which saw many universities switch to online learning and eventually adopt a hybrid learning model. 

Majority of students have since returned to campus full time, however the very sudden changes that occurred during the pandemic made many universities feel the need to accelerate education developments in an attempt to stay ahead. 

How Will These Goals Be achieved?

UCT will be making a number of physical changes to its campus, in an attempt to meet its overall goals for the project. This includes developing new buildings, restoring its existing heritage buildings and repairing its existing buildings. 

The repairing of existing buildings will be achieved by making use of new concepts in technology, environments and art. 

The project will be carried out by the Project Steering committee, made up of: 

  1. Chair - Professor Salome Maswime, the head of the Global Surgery Division UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences 
  2. Deputy chair - Richard Perez, the director of the Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika 

The committee will be tasked with advising the UCT executive as it carries out the project in its several phases.





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